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from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden, and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," december 28th, 2012. good evening, i'm terry moran. well, with all of the expensive airport frenzy at the holidays, your travel dollar might not feel like it goes as far as it used to, but tonight you're going to meet some everyday travelers who found ways to fly literally around the world in first class luxury for next to nothing. that sounds too good to be true? maybe it's because you've never seen the extreme measures these folks are willing to rack up frequent flier miles. here's an encore presentation. >> reporter: this is where rick gets to go practically for free whenever he goes flying. to the front of the lie at the check-in counter. to the first class lounge.
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to seats like these at the front of the airplane, first class and business class. and the places he and his wife have gone together, such as -- >> we've gone from savannah to athens and then flew over to croatia, spent some time there. then up to split, also in croatia. then to amsterdam and back all in business class. >> total cost, just the taxes, $60 each, plus 120,000 frequent flier miles each, which sounds high, but not when you're what rick is, a frequent flier millionaire, one who wants to teach us a few tricks on how to be that millionaire also. >> does anybody in this room sign up for a credit card primarily to get a sign-up bonus? >> reporter: did you know you can get miles by the millions without ever flying? these folks are smiling because they do know that. >> the most important one to be
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able to say is i have never been late on a payment. >> reporter: the first method, cashing in on credit card bonuses. lots of banks now offer new credit card holders sign-up bonuses of 20,000, 40,000, sometimes 70,000 miles or points. rick teaches that people who have shaky credit who cannot pay their bills in full every month or for applying for a mortgage in the near future should not be playing this game. within the fraternity of extreme frequent flyers, it's controversial that any of these secrets are getting out. but rick started a guide called frugal travel guide for the common man and he's holding seminars like these that drew more than 500 people, people who will get on a plane and just fly around over a weekend to maximize their mileage and to raise their elite status with an airline. >> one day, i flew austin to dallas to orange county, california. left the airport. spent five hours with my relatives. then got back on a plane, flew
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to o'hare, and frankfurt, germany, sat in a lounge, then frankfurt, back to o'hare, back to austin. >> or you could try a hotel bonus. lots of hotels can be converted into free hotel nights. this can also get extreme when people like lynn shaffer hear about the hampton inn offering a bonus. >> i take my son to disney world. we hop from hotel to hotel every night. 13 days, 13 stays. >> so you switched hotels every time. >> next method, the rental carbo us in. typically you get a raise, but when one company raised the bonus to 10,000 for a one day rental, george smart went to his airport and rented almost every car off the lot. >> how many cars did you rent? >> about 12 or 15 in a morning and i would get maybe 60 to
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100,000 miles for a very inexpensive investment, the equivalent of going to europe on discount twice. >> for renting cars for a morning. >> reporter: by now, we were sitting in the first class section, because even first class and business class come within reach to those who are frequent flier millionaires. as is evident by rick's trip this year to the far east. >> we went to china for ten days. we flew from chicago to beijing. went to see the great wall of china. went and saw the terracotta warriors, flew into shanghai and came back, again, nothing more than taxes. that one was maybe $150. >> in business class. >> in business class, right. >> reporter: price in frequent flier miles, 110,000 miles each. extreme? perhaps. but only the tip of the iceberg of the techniques talked about at this seminar, all of which frankly take a lot of work and a
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lot of study. but in rick's view, when you're settled back in the big chair, it really will seem worth it. >> sweet. rick and his wife are celebrating this new year's eve in sydney, australia, flying business class, staying in a low tell for free, naturally. next up, the national memory champ is going to share his astonishing method to help those of us who can't even remember where we put our keys. [ male announcer ] this is steve. he loves risk. but whether he's climbing everest, scuba diving the great barrier reef with sharks, or jumping into the market, he goes with people he trusts, which is why he trades with a company that doesn't nickel and dime him with hidden fees. so he can worry about other things, like what the market is doing and being ready, no matter what happens, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense, from td ameritrade.
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"nightline" continues from new york city with terry moran. >> in the age of google and siri, chances are you can't remember your boss's phone number. or maybe the capital of anywhere. but there are some people who make it their business to remember absolutely everything without the help of technology at all. we met up with the defending national memory champ to learn a few things about what he can do and how it can help the rest of us. once again, my co-anchor bill weir. >> reporter: they say dogs have a short-term memory of about 20 seconds. honestly, mine's worse. >> jack of spades. jack of clubs? >> nope. [ laughter ]
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>> reporter: and i'm done at two. it is all the more humiliating because the guy sitting next to me can memorize the order of an entire deck of cards in 63 seconds. just one of the skills that makes nelson the reigning national memory champion. and here's the most amazing part. there is nothing extraordinary about his brain. >> ten of clubs. ace of spades. six of diamonds. >> reporter: do you have a photographic memory naturally? >> no. my memory is just average. >> reporter: it all began when his grandmother got alzheimer's and then he got scared. >> i was really kind of concerned for myself and what that might mean for me in the future. >> reporter: so in searching for mental drills on the internet, he stumbled into the world of memory competition. >> mental athletes, you may begin. >> reporter: and realized that all these elite mental athletes are also ordinary people with
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ordinary brains but they have all learned an ancient but amazingly simple technique. once you have it down, he says that you too might be able to memorize the zip codes of a few dozen complete strangers in times square. >> how about lightning bolt? >> this guy, 02694. 06878. >> reporter: the key is to associate vivid mental images with mundane names or numbers. the more bizarre, the better. so my name is bill weir. my zip code is 10007. how would you lock that in? >> i would come up with an image for the number. 100 to me is frankenstein. and 07 is james bond. so i picture frankenstein sipping a martini. >> reporter: and how do you associate that with -- >> i have would stick that with -- you have very news anchor hair. it's nothing bad. that's just what i would be drawn to.
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i would picture frankenstein inside of your wave there sipping a martini glass. >> reporter: that's just the first part. to remember how he understands things in sequence, we stroll to my favorite market. i asked nelson to memorize the precise order of one of the better beer selections on the upper west side of manhattan. after staring intently at the order of about 50 different brands, we throw a blindfold on him, and -- >> another pilzner. another river horse. another goose highland. >> reporter: yes. the trick is to assign an image to each brand. so for modelo, he pictures a special sexy model. how about the dirty bastard ale? >> i just thought of the rapper ol dirty bastard. >> reporter: but here's where the story goes beyond party tricks. two weeks after the memory championship and in honor of his
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late grandmother, this avid climber set out to conquer mount everest. acclimating in base camp for over a month, he was able to focus on his memory workouts like never before, and despite the low oxygen, the results amazed him. >> my times for memorizing a deck of cards went through the roof. since all those numbers and cards represent these images of people i know. >> reporter: after he climbs past the body of a fallen mountaineer into the death zone, when his oxygen mask froze 300 feet from the summit and his body wouldn't go on, he says those intense memories kept him alive. >> i could feel like i was in the living room back home in miami where i was from, with my family, i could feel the warmth, smell my mom's cooking. it's just like i was there. it woke me up and told me to get back down. you know? king of hearts was dad riding a horse. >> reporter: so point taken. let's get back to dog brain.
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brother josh getting a lap dance. bernard madoff making license plates. oprah winfrey giving me a ford. just a few minutes after turning the face cards into people and building a memory palace out of my office, behold. king of hearts. queen of clubs. queen of hearts, jack of hearts. jack of clubs. king of spades. jack of diamonds. queen of diamonds. and king of clubs. >> king of clubs. there you go. >> reporter: look at that! changed my life. i can't remember your name, though. >> well-done, bill. thanks. just ahead, with the country only three days away now from the edge of the fiscal cliff, we're going to tell you what it could mean for you and your wallet.
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tonight in washington, the
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pressure is on, the clock is ticking, the countdown to the so called fiscal cliff hits the 72-hour mark in just a few minutes. while congress is hoping for a hail mary deal to avoid taking a plunge over the fiscal cliff, most americans are wondering what is wrong with these people, and how exactly social security going to affect them. so, we went ahead and crunched the numbers for you. there they were again. hour nation's leaders trooping into the white house one more time. and afterwards, the president. >> the hour for immediate action is here. it is now. >> you've heard that before. but today on the brink of the fiscal cliff, a glimmer of -- well, something. >> i'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time. >> but don't hold your breath. there is deep skepticism in washington that the leadership of our country will get its act together on time. so let's say we all go over the cliff. what does it mean for you?
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how big a deal is this for ordinary taxpayers? >> well, it's a big deal in that it would be kind of a sudden shock if you had a lighter take-home pay starting at the begin of 2013. >> first, payroll taxes. the taxes that fund social security, they'll go up on everyone. from 4.2% to 6.2% as the recession-related payroll tax holiday expires. then, income taxes will go up across the board, every tax bracket. we're talking about real money for every household. for instance, a single parent with two kids making $37,000 a year, she'll get walloped with a $2800 plus tax increase. a married couple with a kid in college making about $137,000, that's $8,000 more in taxes on that family. and if you're really rich, say lebron james rich, $53 million a year, cough up $2.4 million more
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to uncle sam. and that's not all. two million americans who lost their jobs are getting help through unemployment benefits. at the stroke of midnight on january 1st, they get stiffed not a dime more. >> the federal help for unemployment benefits will go away. >> that's real pain for people who are already suffering. >> yes. and it's also an immediate removal of economic activity from the economy, because if you get unemployment benefits, that money gets spent into the economy relatively quickly. >> and the hits just keep oncoming. capital gains taxes, up 5%. the child tax credit cut in half from a thousand dollars per child to $500. you can't even die without getting nailed. the estate tax goes from 35% on all estates over $5 million to a 5% on any estate worth more than $1 million. and all of this adds up to a
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major blow to the still fragile economy. >> you have the housing market and auto sales rebounding pretty strongly. the jobs market even has kind of gotten on firmer footing as well. so it looks like the economy has been gathering up some strength. >> and what would this do to it? >> create a headwind. it would basically give people another reason not to spend and hire. >> and it's no way to run a popsicle stand, is it? >> doesn't seem like it. >> but in washington, they just can't seem to get it done, which given the stakes here, is weird. >> outside of washington, nobody understands how it is that this seems to be a repeat pattern over and over again. ordinary folks, they do their jobs. they meet deadlines. the notion that our elected leadership can't do the same thing is mind boggling to them. and needs to stop. >> we'll believe it when we see it. on that happy note, thanks for watching abc news. we hope you check in for "good morning america." they're working while you're
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sleeping. we're always online at abcnews online. have a great weekend, everyone. >> dicky: up next on "jimmy kimmel live" -- >> thanksgiving is about going home to your family and doing dirty things in your childhood bed. >> dicky: ryan seacrest. >> jimmy: who do you think is the worst judge in the history of "american idol"? >> dicky: erin andrews. and music from soundgarden. >> jimmy: today is what they call cyber monday.

ABC December 28, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am PST

News/Business. Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran, Bill Weir. (2012) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Washington 4, Spades 3, Nelson 2, Weir 2, Rick 2, Terry Moran 2, Croatia 2, Frankfurt 2, China 2, Erin Andrews 1, Cynthia Mcfadden 1, Pilzner 1, Bernard Madoff 1, Lynn Shaffer 1, Soundgarden 1, The National 1, Terracotta Warriors 1, Chicago 1, The Rental Carbo Us In 1, Ameritrade 1
Network ABC
Duration 00:25:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 74 (525 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 1280
Pixel height 720
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 12/29/2012